AHC: Carrier justification thread.

Was there any differences in performance between the J79-equipped Phantoms vs. the F-4K?
AIUI, the J79 Phantom was faster, while the K had better takeoff and landing and short field performance
The F4K was a touch slower at the very top end but had 10% more flight endurance and with 5200lbs more thrust than the F4J a much fatter performance envelope in the transonic regime where dogfights occur.
 
That's a good point. Having either a Malta or 1952 design carrier means the FAA could order a bone stock Phantom instead of the massive redesign the was needed to get them to operate off decks smaller than the US Essex class. Though there will still probably be a political push to use the Spey instead of the J79.
The Audacious class could only do 29kts and CVA01 was designed to do 28kts, so the British needed their Phantoms to have blown slats and flaps which is why the Spey instead of the J79. The Spey also had good flight performance around the carrier due to its significantly greater power.

As for the political push, engines cost about $1 million each in a $6-7 million plane so by using the Spey a major expense was incurred in pounds sterling instead of scarce US dollars.
 
I'm not really sold on the 1952 fleet carrier.

The specs are 53,000t, the same as the CVA01 but with 4 shaft propulsion with 200,000shp compared with 3 shafts and 135,000shp. The catapults were to be a 151' BS5 and 199' BS5A like the Eagle and Ark Royal, not the 250' BS6s of the CVA01 but that might be OK given the power and therefore 32kt speed compared to 28kt of the CVA01 and 29-30kt of the Eagle and Ark Royal.
 
@Marky Bunny was I believe the first person to point that out in this thread. 8,655 people switching their votes in 20 marginal constituencies would give the Conservatives a majority of 17 rather than our timeline's Labour majority of 5. That would be enough to see Home through to 1969 and the inevitable large Labour victory, although since that likely guarantees re-election in 1974 and their governing for nearly all of the 1970s the phrase 'poisoned chalice' does somewhat spring to mind.
Pleased something I wrote and worked out 12 years ago could help. Yes the 1964 election was very, very close. If the coup in the Soviet Union hours took place just hours earlier, than i have no doubt Home would have won like this.
 
Pleased something I wrote and worked out 12 years ago could help. Yes the 1964 election was very, very close. If the coup in the Soviet Union hours took place just hours earlier, than i have no doubt Home would have won like this.
IIRC Home was split on whether to call the election for October or November, eventually being convinced to go for the earlier date. I don't know whether an extra month would be good or bad for him, on the one hand it would mean the electorate would know about Khrushchev's ouster and China's attainment of nuclear weapons but on the other the extra time would allow Labour time to find their feet and put together a proper response. I suppose the easiest thing, aside from these events occurring/being announced sooner, would be the general election being set for a week later than in our timeline.
 
So is a Conservative win in 1964 enough to get CVA01 ordered bearing in mind the RN had dropped out of the P1154 project by November 1963?

Do the Conservative retain the 4 carrier RN, and does the Ark get an austere refit for the full on Eagle type rebuild? Does the Type 82 continue to be built or once the RN get 8 of these command facility ships they switch to the cheaper Type 42?
 
Australia makes a quicker decision to replace HMAS Melbourne. The government goes ahead with the decision to buy an Iwo Jima class LPH in 1981/2. The government and the navy wanted to do so, but dragged their feet OTL. By 1983, the door had closed.

Edit: I would have gone for an enlarged Principe de Asturias for them, but doubt they wanted to spend the money. Could the Australians have built the ship themselves?
I wonder if a smarter move would have been the Italian Garibaldi class - the smaller of the three preferred options announced in 1979.

If a firm decision had been taken to order such a ship from the Italians to follow their own on the slips, she would have been laid down in '83 for delivery in '87. It's possible work - and the exchange of money - could have been far enough down the line for the incoming Labor government in '83 to basically let it continue.

If one could do away with the Dibb Review, and recognise the value of a ship primarily as an ASW helicopter carrier but with other capabilities, there could have been an interesting range of butterflies.

The two additional Adelaide (Perry) class frigates are no longer needed.

There would be a stronger case for acquiring new ASW helicopters earlier and more of them. Perhaps the S-70B buy could be extended to 24 aircraft, allowing for the new carrier to have a standard air group of 6-8 aircraft, with the four Adelaides carrying detachments of two aircraft each.

What was the Anzac class program may become a smaller build of four frigates - plus two for New Zealand - to replace older vessels, with the cost of eight not being justified when the Navy would also have three Perth class destroyers and four Adelaides, plus a carrier including its air group.

For a similar reason, and also in the absence of Dibb, no flirting with an offshore patrol vessel, and with only four "Anzacs" and a larger buy of Seahawks, the Seasprite saga could be avoided entirely.

Three new destroyers could have followed the "Anzacs" as Perth class replacements - in a reasonable timeframe. This could also butterfly away the upgrade of the Adelaide class, which would be replaced by another follow-on class.

Australia could have joined with Italy and Spain and acquired the AV-8B Harrier in small numbers. Perhaps 12 single-seaters and three two-seaters. This would allow for a standard air group of 6-8 aircraft in service in the mid '90s.

The carrier could have played a key role in INTERFET and then seen service in the wars on terror. She would also have been available for responding to natural disasters.

Maybe the Navy continues to win in the funding stakes, with the expensive upgrade of the air force's F-111s in the '90s shelved and the aircraft retired, possibly in favour of an extra squadron of Hornets and a greater investment in AAR - though that likely eats the savings and then some.

It all goes on and on . . .
 
The Sea Sprite - Penguin AShM debacle was the RANs attempt to regain an airborne anti-ship strike capability lost in 1981 with the Melbourne.
 
So is a Conservative win in 1964 enough to get CVA01 ordered bearing in mind the RN had dropped out of the P1154 project by November 1963?

Do the Conservative retain the 4 carrier RN, and does the Ark get an austere refit for the full on Eagle type rebuild? Does the Type 82 continue to be built or once the RN get 8 of these command facility ships they switch to the cheaper Type 42?
I think that if the Conservative government orders CVA-01 and CVA-02 they'll be direct replacements for Eagle and Ark Royal. As for the Type 82's I can't see them purchasing more than they need to escort the carriers given that lacking their own helicopter and anti-ship weapons they didn't have much capacity to operate independently.
 
I wonder if a smarter move would have been the Italian Garibaldi class - the smaller of the three preferred options announced in 1979.

If a firm decision had been taken to order such a ship from the Italians to follow their own on the slips, she would have been laid down in '83 for delivery in '87. It's possible work - and the exchange of money - could have been far enough down the line for the incoming Labor government in '83 to basically let it continue.

If one could do away with the Dibb Review, and recognise the value of a ship primarily as an ASW helicopter carrier but with other capabilities, there could have been an interesting range of butterflies.

The two additional Adelaide (Perry) class frigates are no longer needed.

There would be a stronger case for acquiring new ASW helicopters earlier and more of them. Perhaps the S-70B buy could be extended to 24 aircraft, allowing for the new carrier to have a standard air group of 6-8 aircraft, with the four Adelaides carrying detachments of two aircraft each.

What was the Anzac class program may become a smaller build of four frigates - plus two for New Zealand - to replace older vessels, with the cost of eight not being justified when the Navy would also have three Perth class destroyers and four Adelaides, plus a carrier including its air group.

For a similar reason, and also in the absence of Dibb, no flirting with an offshore patrol vessel, and with only four "Anzacs" and a larger buy of Seahawks, the Seasprite saga could be avoided entirely.

Three new destroyers could have followed the "Anzacs" as Perth class replacements - in a reasonable timeframe. This could also butterfly away the upgrade of the Adelaide class, which would be replaced by another follow-on class.

Australia could have joined with Italy and Spain and acquired the AV-8B Harrier in small numbers. Perhaps 12 single-seaters and three two-seaters. This would allow for a standard air group of 6-8 aircraft in service in the mid '90s.

The carrier could have played a key role in INTERFET and then seen service in the wars on terror. She would also have been available for responding to natural disasters.

Maybe the Navy continues to win in the funding stakes, with the expensive upgrade of the air force's F-111s in the '90s shelved and the aircraft retired, possibly in favour of an extra squadron of Hornets and a greater investment in AAR - though that likely eats the savings and then some.

It all goes on and on . . .
I really like that scenario and if the Dibb report can be avoided so much the better. Also if the ANZAC class ITTL can also have two rudders behind each propeller, it would make things a wee bit easier from a ship handling perspective and change wee to a lot.

The Seasprite was an utter disaster and could have been avoided in entirety if we had just purchased the Lynx as well. Otherwise the Seahawk is a fairly adaptable platform and I'm sure an ASuW capability could have been added earlier to it. Another factor is that having two helicopters available to you makes you a far more capable ASW platform, so if a larger Seahawk buy is possible than this significantly improves ASW capability.

In this scenairo I wonder if the Thais also opt for a more advanced Harrier for their carrier as well?
 
I think that if the Conservative government orders CVA-01 and CVA-02 they'll be direct replacements for Eagle and Ark Royal. As for the Type 82's I can't see them purchasing more than they need to escort the carriers given that lacking their own helicopter and anti-ship weapons they didn't have much capacity to operate independently.
The CVA01 & 02 were to be part of a 4 carrier force to meet the stated British Defence policy commitments: a 2 carrier Tactical Air Unit East of Suez and 1 carrier for NATO Strike fleet Atlantic Strike Group 2. This will be the justification for ordering these two new carriers and the scheduling of their introduction to service. If they are to replace the Eagle and Ark as a 2 carrier force they won't be needed to be laid down until the early 70s. I can imagine a drawdown to a 3 carrier force by CVA02 replacing the Ark by 1976, and Eagle being disposed of without replacement in the 80s.

The Bristol had command facilities that the T42 and T22 lacked, so can lead a Task Element eother with the CBG or independently. I think that might get 8 rather than the bare minimum of 6 built.
 
The CVA01 & 02 were to be part of a 4 carrier force to meet the stated British Defence policy commitments: a 2 carrier Tactical Air Unit East of Suez and 1 carrier for NATO Strike fleet Atlantic Strike Group 2. This will be the justification for ordering these two new carriers and the scheduling of their introduction to service. If they are to replace the Eagle and Ark as a 2 carrier force they won't be needed to be laid down until the early 70s. I can imagine a drawdown to a 3 carrier force by CVA02 replacing the Ark by 1976, and Eagle being disposed of without replacement in the 80s.
I think that it's more likely that the government reassesses their defence policy commitments than the RN ends up operating both Audacious class and two CVA's.
The Bristol had command facilities that the T42 and T22 lacked, so can lead a Task Element eother with the CBG or independently. I think that might get 8 rather than the bare minimum of 6 built.
Maybe, but they're fairly manpower intensive ships and doesn't the RN also need a couple of helicopter escort cruisers as part of the CVA CBG?
 
I think that it's more likely that the government reassesses their defence policy commitments than the RN ends up operating both Audacious class and two CVA's.

Maybe, but they're fairly manpower intensive ships and doesn't the RN also need a couple of helicopter escort cruisers as part of the CVA CBG?
The schedule would be driven by the Phantom buy, some 55 production F4Ks if the option for 7 was taken up. By 1970 Ark and Eagle would be flying Phantoms, by 1973 CVA01 would be in service and Eagle and Ark would go into refit in succession over the next couple of years. By 1976 CVA02 would be in service and Ark scrapped, so much like the I class the RN would have 2 in service and 1 in refit with 3 Phantom squadrons in service, 2 at sea and 1 bg one on land.

The helicopter command cruisers were both ASW escorts for the CVAs and command ships on independent stations. I'd suggest a couple more Bristols would be a lot cheaper than 2 or 3 helicopter command cruisers.
 
The schedule would be driven by the Phantom buy, some 55 production F4Ks if the option for 7 was taken up. By 1970 Ark and Eagle would be flying Phantoms, by 1973 CVA01 would be in service and Eagle and Ark would go into refit in succession over the next couple of years. By 1976 CVA02 would be in service and Ark scrapped, so much like the I class the RN would have 2 in service and 1 in refit with 3 Phantom squadrons in service, 2 at sea and 1 bg one on land.
Given that you obviously have very set views on this it makes one wonder why you asked whether the RN would retain a four carrier force in the first place.
The helicopter command cruisers were both ASW escorts for the CVAs and command ships on independent stations. I'd suggest a couple more Bristols would be a lot cheaper than 2 or 3 helicopter command cruisers.
If the helicopter ASW escorts aren't built doesn't that mean that the RN has to choose between accepting the potential danger of deploying a CBG with an insufficient ASW aviation capability or a CBG with less fixed-wing combat aircraft?
 
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Given that you obviously have very set views on this it makes one wonder why you asked whether the RN would retain a four carrier force in the first place.

If the helicopter ASW escorts aren't built doesn't that mean that the RN has to choose between accepting the potential danger of deploying a CBG with an insufficient ASW aviation capability or a CBG with less fixed-wing combat aircraft?
I think in 1965 or so the 4 carrier force will be thr justification to build 2 new carriers but events will overtake them before both are finished a decade later. There were defence reviews in 65, 68 and 74, something like these will likely occur and lead to cuts.

I don't think the success of the CVAs rests on the provision of asw helicopter cruisers. Certainly the RN put them back in the early 60s to try to get the carriers over the line. The Blake and Tiger were supposed to be prototypes for this type of ship, and the first conversion began in 1965 so will available for a decade or so.
 
I think in 1965 or so the 4 carrier force will be thr justification to build 2 new carriers but events will overtake them before both are finished a decade later. There were defence reviews in 65, 68 and 74, something like these will likely occur and lead to cuts.
Which is my justification for saying that I expect that the CVA's will end up being direct replacements for the Audacious'. I don't for one minute think that a Conservative government would announce a withdrawal of East of Suez forces, but I expect that they would quietly reduce them and the requirements of the naval component.
I don't think the success of the CVAs rests on the provision of asw helicopter cruisers. Certainly the RN put them back in the early 60s to try to get the carriers over the line. The Blake and Tiger were supposed to be prototypes for this type of ship, and the first conversion began in 1965 so will available for a decade or so.
Surely, the fact that the RN had the two Tiger class conversions is what allowed them to delay building the ASW helicopter cruisers. That doesn't mean that the CVA CBG no longer has a requirement for ASW helicopter cruisers, just that it has a compromise that allows it to put off building them for long enough to get the CVA's over the line.
 
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Surely, the fact that the RN had the two Tiger class conversions is what allowed them to delay building the ASW helicopter cruisers. That doesn't mean that the RN no longer has a requirement for ASW helicopter cruisers, just that it has a compromise that allows it to put off building them for long enough to get the CVA's over the line.
I could see the choice been made in 1972 or so that instead of the proposed escort cruisers that Albion, Bulwark and Hermes be used in that role. It could be reasonably expected that with proper care they would last another 15 - 20 years. (we know Hermes has 30 good years in her with 10 difficult years after that, they don't)
 
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I could see the choice been made in 1972 or so that instead of the proposed escort cruisers that Albion, Bulwark and Hermes be used in that role.
Yeah, that makes sense to me. A dual role of CBG ASW helicopter carrier and commando carrier would make them pretty in-demand assets for the RN. In an ideal world you'd probably want Centaur to be converted to, but I think that'd require a bit more foresight and/or decisions to be made earlier than can probably be reasonably expected.
 
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Which is my justification for saying that I expect that the CVA's will end up being direct replacements for the Audacious'. I don't for one minute think that a Conservative government would announce a withdrawal of East of Suez forces, but I expect that they would quietly reduce them and the requirements of the naval component.

Surely, the fact that the RN had the two Tiger class conversions is what allowed them to delay building the ASW helicopter cruisers. That doesn't mean that the CVA CBG no longer has a requirement for ASW helicopter cruisers, just that it has a compromise that allows it to put off building them for long enough to get the CVA's over the line.
Yeah, I think they'll be indirect replacement which is the same result occurring 5-10 years later.

It's been a while but I think the RN actually dropped the ASW command cruiser by 1964. They only resurrected in in 1969 un order to command the surface groups that were to be the RN NATO role post devaluation defense cuts.
 
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